Shortly after midnight the storm hit with a fury I don’t think I have experienced before. I had been sleeping on top of my sleeping bag as it had been a warm evening. The noise of the storm awoke me and it took a moment for it to register that I was getting wet and the reason for it. I had left the tent fly open. By now the lightening was flashing nonstop. As I unzipped the screen and reached out to zip the fly all I could see was what looked like a wall of white water. Rain was pelting down so hard I could barely see the tent next to me. I zipped the fly then the tent screen. Some water had got into the tent but I was able wipe it up with a rag.
At least the inside of my tent is now dry I thought. A moment later the wind hit. Thunder and lightening were still crashing directly overhead. The wind was so powerful it was attempting to flatten my tent right on top of me. I grabbed the tent by the top and braced it against the wind. I remember thinking at the time that I hoped this wasn’t a tornado. After what seemed like 10 minutes the wind started to ease although the sides of my tent were still shaking. The nonstop lightening lit up the inside of my tent like daylight with each flash. Rain was still pelting down
Eventually the lightening, thunder and rain started to subside as the storm started to move away. The lightening flashes still lit up the inside of my tent but were reducing in frequency. Soon the rain stopped entirely. After a few minutes it appeared another wave of the storm wasn’t imminent so I stuck my head out of the tent. The tents around me appeared intact with no one else outside with the exception of Louise. In trying to zip up the fly on her tent in the middle of the storm the two sides of the zipper became misaligned. We couldn’t get it fixed so zipped it up as best we could and left it until morning. I crawled back into my tent and tried to get to sleep. Another little shower went through but by 2:00 am it was all over and the sky started to clear.
I had just dozed off when my phone rang indicating a text message. This was very strange since we didn’t have cell service. My phone showed a text from Susan and showed cell service. A moment later it showed “no service” … very strange!
In the morning the extent of the damage became apparent. I suspect that it was a plough wind that hit us. I got off lucky – just a slight bend in one section of tent pole. Adam’s tent had rolled with the tent poles twisted. He had ended up in the truck for the night. His phone and tablet had got wet and weren’t working. Dan and Joyce’s tent was pretty much destroyed. Various other items had blown around. A tree next to some tents had blown over, fortunately away from the tents. A sink in one of the outdoor toilets had been smashed. And there was no power or running water. All in all we had lots to talk about.
Following breakfast we were underway by 7:15. Unlike the excitement overnight, our ride today over rolling terrain didn’t give us a lot to talk about. There was rocks and trees. And there were trees and rocks. And then there were more rocks and trees. Occasionally there was a lake. There were no services along the way. With that in mind Adam left later than normal and stopped along the way for each group so they could refill their water bottles.
The total distance today was 160 km of uphill and down.
Along the way today there were a few things of note. There were a couple of places where trees had fallen across the road during the storm. We saw a deer. And we saw an Inushuk riding a bicycle.